Friday, May 25, 2012

Let's do some Spring Cleaning

Spring has come again and has fulfilled its promise of a new leaves, blooming flowers, and singing birds. The bright sun of spring encourages us to raise our blinds and throw open our windows to let the fresh, fragrant air into our offices and homes.  In the bright light of the sun, we can easily see the kids' fingerprints, the pets' noseprints and the dust bunnies that went unseen during the dark days of winter.  It is then that spring cleaning begins in earnest.

Spring can also be a good time to do some "Spring Cleaning" in our lives.  Like the fingerprints and dust bunnies, things that have happened to us  can clutter up our minds and prevent us from enjoying our lives to the fullest.  Life is short, and we only get one chance at it, so taking care of ourselves and beginning to remove this "clutter" can greatly improve the quality of our lives.

The clutter in our minds can come from any number of things, and no matter what your clutter might be, there is probably a trained professional out there to deal with it.  If your issues, or the issues of someone you know, stem from domestic violence,  the professionals of the Dove Domestic Violence Program are waiting to help you "clean house" and move on.   Dove serves five counties:  DeWitt, Macon, Moultrie, Piatt and Shelby, with the shelter and main office in Decatur and satellite offices in DeWitt, Moultrie and Shelby.  Piatt County is served by appointment. 

When many people think of domestic violence, they immediately think of physical abuse.  Physical abuse, of course, is devastating.  Emotional or verbal abuse can be even more dangerous and sometimes harder to detect.  Signs of emotional abuse include, but are not limited to:  excessive jealousy which prevents outside friendships, being blamed every time things go wrong,  being cursed at and/or called names,  being isolated from family or friends, having to beg for money and account for every penny your are given, and  having to "walk on eggshells" to prevent confrontations which happen anyway.  Domestic abuse is a pattern of behavior which is intended to keep the abuser's victim under his or her control.  Abusers use their power to control their victim 24 hours a day.  Physcial abuse leaves wounds that heal within a few weeks.  Emotional and verbal abuse can leave "wounds" to our minds that can last much longer.  If you, or someone you know, is suffering from any kind of abuse, please call one of our programs to speak with a trained professional who can help you with your "spring cleaning."  We offer legal advocacy, assistance with orders of protection, intervention with law enforcement and the judicial system if needed, individual and group counseling for victims and their children.  We try to do whatever it takes to assist a victim and his or her family to move on with their lives...........clutter-free and safe.

To contact Macon County or Piatt County, please call 217-423-2238
To contact DeWitt County, please call 217-935-6072
To contact Moultrie County, please call 217-728-9334
To contact Shelby County, please call 217-774-4888

When we are done with spring cleaning our homes, we are free to enjoy the upcoming summer with all of the fun it offers.  When we spring clean our lives, we are able to move on and enjoy our lives in safety and freedom.  We finally become able to be the people we want to be.

Susie Kensil is the Domestic Violence Coordinator serving Shelby County.

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